In the aftermath of the mass shooting in Colorado, a small group of lawmakers on Capitol Hill hope to ban the sale of ammunition for assault weapons but there's little momentum to pass any new federal gun control laws. NY1’s Erin Billups filed the following report.
As most of Capitol Hill remained quiet on whether the tragic shootings in Aurora, Colorado should warrant another look at gun safety laws, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy insisted now is the perfect time to revive the conversation.
"What has happened in all these mass killings, all the way up to this past weekend, there is one thing in common, and they were the large magazine clips,” McCarthy said. “That's what killed my husband.”
McCarthy’s husband was fatally shot during a mass killing spree on a commuter train in 1993. McCarthy, along with New Jersey's two senators and Denver's congresswoman, called for a ban on high-capacity ammunition for assault weapons.
"No reasonable person can look at the shooting in Colorado and not wonder how someone like 24-year-old James Holmes could have amassed such an arsenal,” said Sen. Robert Menendez.
Holmes had four guns, one of them an assault rifle, and 6,000 rounds of ammunition.
McCarthy blames the powerful National Rifle Association lobby for the lack of dialogue on the issue, saying they should be working together.
"Maybe we should have it where you can go to a gun club and buy the large magazine and just have it there but it can't go outside the shop," she said. "There are reasonable ways of working around this."
While Democratic leadership has quietly admitted they will not pursue a ban, Republicans have no trouble dismissing talk of more gun laws.
"The focus is on a deranged individual," said Rep. Bob Turner. "Criminals have access to our guns legally or illegally. I'm not sure laws are gonna change too much.”
McCarthy, though, is hopeful that in light of the Colorado tragedy, the public will demand action.
"I don't know when the American people will raise their voices and show these legislators there are people that happen to support reducing gun violence in this country,” she said.